WPY 2014

Photograph Details

Finalist 2014

Underwater Species

Adriano Morettin, Italy

Touch of magic

Adriano had this picture in mind for 15 years before he had a chance to capture it. The nineteenth-century Miramare Castle, near his home in Trieste, stands on a cliff overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Last summer, a significant jellyfish swarm gathered beneath the cliff. Hundreds of barrel jellyfish and tens of fried egg jellyfish congregated in the unusually clear water. Adriano needed to get close with his wide-angle lens, receiving many minor stings to his face in the process. But his real challenge was to follow the jellyfish as they moved, ‘using their domes like engines’. He waited patiently for two to touch near the surface, getting just the right angle to photograph them with the castle behind. Most difficult of all was balancing the exposure of the jellyfish with that of the sunlit castle above to reveal the beauty of both.

Technical specification

Nikon D800E + Sigma 15mm f2.8 lens; 1/160 sec at f18; ISO 100; Seacam housing + Superdome; two Seaflash 150 strobes.


Miramare Castle, nr Trieste, Italy: latitude 45.7023, longitude 13.7117 Miramare Castle, nr Trieste, Italy: latitude 45.7023, longitude 13.7117

Miramare Castle, nr Trieste, Italy

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Adriano Morettin

Adriano Morettin, Italy

Born on the Italian coast in Trieste, Adriano has always loved the sea, which led him to become a diving instructor. But when he picked up an underwater camera, he was really hooked. He has since explored seas worldwide, especially relishing Indonesian waters but also his beloved Adriatic Sea, where he learnt his craft. His pictures have won many national and international awards.